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Park Charter Fund Renewed !

Published on: 8/2/2016 3:07 PM
In February 2016, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to place a local measure on the June ballot to renew our Park Charter Fund, which provides stable local funding for our parks and open space. This June the voters approved the measure by 78%. The measure will protect and preserve our local parks and open space, helping us to meet the needs of our growing population and make safety repairs and improvements.

Investing in Santa Clara County Parks - safety repairs and improvementsbeautiful scene in Parks
Our Park Charter fund was created in 1972 and has been extended seven times by local voters, most recently in 2016. The Park Charter Fund is the only guaranteed source of local funding for our parks. This funding has helped to protect our open space and increase access to parks, trails and nature.

The amended Park Charter Fund renews this funding for 15 years and provides approximately $57 million for our parks every year. This local funding will continue to be a set aside of existing County revenue –this measure does not raise taxes.

hiking in Parkswaterfalls
The Park Charter Fund will help to:

  • Maintain water quality by protecting land around rivers, lakes and streams
  • Keep restrooms and park facilities clean and safe
  • Protect and preserve local parks
  • Update aging roads, parking lots, restrooms and trailheads
  • Improve access to hiking and biking trails
  • Improve access to natural areas and open space

The Park Charter Fund supports critical upgrades to our parks, as well as open new parks to the public. Our community continues to grow and yet some of our park facilities have not been upgraded in decades. In addition, over the last forty years, we have purchased and protected thousands of acres of parks and open space, yet over 10,000 acres of this land has not yet been opened to the public, due to the high cost of upgrading and improving the land.

sunset in Parkshiking in Parks
In addition to providing $72 million for acquisition over the next ten years, the Park Charter Fund will provide adequate funding for needed improvement and upgrades. The amended Park Charter Fund, which commences July 1, 2017, will include an increased in the set-aside of the general fund, allocate at least 10% to acquisition and at least 10% to park development. As a result, the district will be able to make critical upgrades to existing parks and open lands to the community, balancing our ability to purchase new land with caring for existing parks. For example, lands such as the Martial Cottle Park Life Estate, Coyote Canyon/Highlands (Modbedshahi) and Sulfur Springs (Grant Ranch) will be opened and we will be able to move closer to our goal of completing the Emerald Web of natural lands and linkages throughout our area.
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